Ways to Reduce Energy Costs at Your Industrial Facility
Did you know that the industrial sector alone contributes to almost one-fourthof all energy usage in the United States as of 2017? Powering an industrial facility definitely takes a lot of energy, but much of this energy is actually being wasted through inefficient technology, air compressor leaks, faulty equipment, and other high-energy consumers. Follow these tips to minimize waste and reduce your facility’s overall energy costs.
Perform an Energy Audit
An energy audit is a great tool to find out where your energy is really going. Hire an energy specialist from an outside agency to analyze your consumption. They will conduct a comprehensive audit to calculate how much energy is being used to power the various components of your facility and then determine your biggest energy wasters. The auditor will also be able to identify areas where you can save on energy and provide you with specific recommendations on some improvements that you can make to maximize your facility’s energy efficiency.
Limit Electricity Usage During Peak Hours
Peak hours are when electricity rates increase, usually occurring in the afternoon when temperatures are at their highest. Running equipment during these hours can cost your business a significant amount of money each year. Your audit should reveal what pieces of equipment use up the most energy. Try limiting the operation of this equipment to those cheaper off-peak hours and you’ll notice a big reduction in your utility costs.
Address Leaky Air Compressors
Air compressors can be a huge source of energy waste for industrial facilities, especially when they have a leak present. Just one small leak can cost your business hundreds of dollars a year in extra energy costs. Multiple leaks? That’s thousands of dollars being thrown away on energy annually. To keep this from happening to you, it’s essential to ensure your air compressor is properly maintained on a strict routine schedule.
Leaks can be caused by loose tubes and hoses, missing seals, or worn-out materials. A qualified technician will be able to identify leaks and other issues before they progress into major problems that cost your business a lot of money. Even dirty filters can make your air compressor less efficient, causing it to work harder and use more energy than usual. A preventative maintenance plan can help you avoid the excessive energy costs that are associated with using a poorly maintained air compressor. It’s recommended to have a professional visit your facility on a predetermined schedule to make sure your unit is in prime running condition and as efficient as possible.
Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Lighting
Switching to energy-efficient lighting is an easy and relatively inexpensive way for your business to reduce costs. Upgrading your fluorescent lights to light-emitting diodes (LEDs) will not only save on energy, but they also provide a higher quality of lighting that can improve workplace safety as well as the productivity of your employees. Of course, you can boost your savings even more by ensuring that all unnecessary lights are turned off during non-operational hours.
Evaluate Your HVAC System
HVAC systems account for a significant portion of a building’s monthly energy usage. To reduce costs, you should make sure that your system is performing optimally. It will need regular maintenance by an HVAC professional to maximize its overall efficiency. This will likely involve filter changes, duct cleaning, airflow checks, and other inspections. If you have been using the same system for a long time, you might also consider upgrading your unit. Newer HVAC systems are simply more efficient and reliable as they are less prone to breaking down than older models.
Another enhancement you might consider is a programmable thermostat, which allows you to automate temperature settings. You’ll be able to program the system to change to a certain temperature during specific times of the day. The thermostat will automatically adjust to the temperature that you’ve selected, so you won’t have to worry if you forgot to change it yourself during those costly peak hours.
Power Off Equipment
Some electronic equipment may be overlooked when it comes time to power down for the day, leading to unnecessary energy costs. Workers should be reminded to turn off any equipment that they’ve been using before they leave. For maximum savings, you should include not only heavy-duty machinery but also lamps, computers, and any other component that runs on electricity. You might be surprised by how much energy you can save by taking the time to verify that each electronic component has been powered off.
Keep Equipment Maintained
The bottom line is that well-maintained equipment will be more energy efficient. Poorly maintained equipment has to work harder to do the same amount of work a well-maintained machine will do. Over time, this can lead to excessive wear and tear that may result in the complete shutdown of your equipment. Take advantage of any preventative maintenance plan offered by the manufacturer. If one is unavailable, reach out to an industry professional for the job. Regular maintenance will not only ensure your equipment works, but it will also lead to considerable energy savings in the long run.
Increase Employee Awareness
It would be difficult for you to reduce energy consumption without the support of your employees. It’s a good idea to communicate the importance of energy efficiency and develop a plan to ensure each employee will comply with your updated standards. This may involve putting together materials to remind them of best energy practices. You could also create an energy management team that would be responsible for monitoring energy usage and developing new ideas for minimizing energy consumption.
These tips can help you keep energy costs down and save your business hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars a year. To learn more about how your facility can reduce energy, contact the team from Valley Power Systems. We offer a wide range of power solutions to California businesses, and we look forward to working with you for all of your energy needs.